Apr 17, 2012

Building work starts on first AIMC4 social housing

Stewart Milne Timber Systems, the UK’s leading provider of timber frame building solutions, has started work on the first phase of AIMC4 homes for the social housing sector.

The pioneering £6.4m AIMC4 project, devised by a consortium of industry leading developers, was created to research and deliver Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 homes through a fabric-first approach. For this phase of the project, Stewart Milne Timber Systems is working in partnership with the Community Gateway Association and Adactus Housing Association, to build three, three-bedroom homes at the Adelphi House Development in Preston, Lancashire.

The timber systems for the homes were erected at the start of April, and these are the first AIMC4 homes to use Stewart Milne Timber System’s new open panel build system solution, Sigma OP4. These open panel solutions have been designed to meet a wide spectrum of budgets and technical specifications and can contribute to meeting up to Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Alex Goodfellow, Group Managing Director - Timber Systems explains: “The AIMC4 consortium is breaking new ground in its approach to sustainable building and we are excited to be leading the project. The country has ambitious targets for a zero carbon future and we are keen to ensure we can meet the carbon agenda as well as build homes that consumers want to live in.”

Speaking about this latest development in Preston, Goodfellow adds: “We have used different build systems for each of the three AIMC4 sites so that we can see which products work best to meet the Government targets for sustainable homes. As cost was top of the agenda for this project, we used our most cost-effective system. Our Sigma® OP products have the flexibility and a range of features which deliver significant cost benefits, making the system more commercially attractive.”

As well as being the first to use an open panel solution, the AIMC4 units at Preston are unique as they are the only homes in the AIMC4 project to be naturally ventilated. This avoids the need for mechanical systems with complex duct works built in and occupants benefit from reduced maintenance, we are making the homes even more economical, easier to build and more consumer friendly.

Of the 13 homes on site, three are AIMC4 and can achieve CSH Level Four through the building fabric alone. The other ten homes have been built to CSH Level Three. The AIMC4 houses are due for completion at the end of June.

Andrew Mason, regeneration manager for the Community Gateway Association adds: “We are delighted to be the first social housing provider in the UK to utilise the AIMC4 solution, building three Level Four homes at our Adelphi House Development. Working with the team at Stewart Milne has been a real pleasure. From day one they have involved us and our tenants in the process of creating 13 fabulous affordable homes that are much-needed in Preston."

Co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board, AIMC4 comprises a consortium of industry leading developers and experts: Stewart Milne Group, Crest Nicholson Plc and Barratt Developments Plc; plus H+H UK Ltd and BRE.    

Homes For Scotland Home Builders Federation National House-Building Council Royal Institute of British Architects Structural Timber Association Constructionline British Board of Agrement Wood Campus Build Off Site Building Research Establishment WOOD FOR GOOD

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